Looking Out for Yourself

It’s cold, quiet, all the walls and rooms feel the same, and the smell of hand sanitizer and emptiness creates a comforting nothingness. How did you end up here? Maybe your body just started a random revolution or maybe it’s a health issue you were to afraid to speak out about until it frightened you badly enough to open up and spill your concerns. The truth is, every once in awhile, we all find ourselves in that dreaded doctor’s office. According to the United States Census Bureau, more than half of children are in excellent health, but that leaves around 41 percent that are experiencing health issues.

Forty-one percent is a pretty big number and one can’t help but wonder if some young people experiencing health problems should have gotten to a doctor sooner. Students have many worries with school, work, friends and family, and the least of their worries are focused on their health  because when people are young they don’t think anything bad can ever happen to them. Once high schoolers take on the mind frame that health should be a number-one priority and that it can always be improved, only then can those scary doctors visits be avoided. Taking care of oneself can be as easy as eating right, working out, and even if it’s a little weird, checking your body for any irregularities.

Eat right. Little changes can go a long way. If people aren’t used to drinking a lot of water, they should try getting in the habit of staying hydrated.Often times headaches and tiredness can be fixed with some water. Even though students don’t have lots of time to change all of their bad habits, little changes can go a long way, said Mr. Darnell Rios, a safety assistant at Round Lake High School, who maintains a very healthy lifestyle and urges others to do the same. “Drinking more water, [eating] less sugar, incorporating more fruits and vegetables in daily eating, cooked meals rather than fast food, and placing more value on the intake of vitamins and minerals that you need for your body to function properly [are all ways to increase health],” he said.

Exercise. Having an active day in the high school does not count as ones work out for the day, so maybe try to also be active at home even if it’s just for a few minutes. Mrs. Nicole Herchenbach, a gym and health teacher at RLHS said, “I like to goal set first – have one long term goal and short term goals that will help me attain the long term goal.” Everyday students can go for a walk, or a run and think about maybe involving  more strenuous workouts to keep fit as they get used to becoming more active. “I reevaluate my eating and see where I can make changes that will help me reach my goal, and then do the same for my workouts,” said Herchenbach.

Be proactive and self-evaluate.You are the only one who really knows your own body. Mrs. Elizabeth Keller, the school nurse at RLHS urges students to be more proactive about monitoring their health. “Kids and adults are consumers of their own health,” she said. “It’s important to know you have a right to health care, getting treated for a small problem would be a small bill, but waiting for the problem to become bigger, the bill would be bigger and may even lead to death.” During the interview, Keller mentioned that gut feelings on an issue can push students to have that concern seen, so truly it is up to an individual to decide if the issue is pressing and must be seen by a doctor.

High schoolers are not far from becoming adults and having to face issues by themselves, but at this age we still have health care and parents to turn to for serious issues. Parents may not have time to always take their kids to appointments, but it’s important to that small problems can be checked out now rather than later having turned into something serious. In the end it is up to an individual to to step up when they sense something to be wrong.